Yield loss assessment and control of fruit bat (Pteropus giganteus) in litchi orchards using the artificial light method
Keywords: Fruit bats, LED bulb, light method, litchi crop, Pteropus giganteus
AbstractLitchi (Litchi chinensis) is an important subtropical evergreen fruit crop of Punjab and is considerably damaged by the fruit bat (Pteropus giganteus). Since no study has been done in Punjab to assess fruit damage and control of fruit bats in litchi crop, present study was conducted in litchi orchards at two different locations (six sites) Gurdaspur [Regional Research Station (PAU), villages Ranjit Bagh and Tibar] and Pathankot (villages Sujanpur, Balusa and Malikpur) each having three replications, during 2018 and 2019. Our results reported that yield loss (%) to litchi fruits by P. giganteus was in the range from 6.85 to 8.93% and damage 5.59 kg/tree having average yield of 74.09 kg/tree. The average economic litchi fruit loss was calculated to be Rs. 32,232.0/acre. This damage to litchi fruit crop was minimized by using lighting, a non-lethal and non-polluting method (LED bulbs), with one-time installation cost. It is concluded that after installation of 16 LED bulbs/acre of 30 watts at a distance of 50 feet from each other in an upward position at the height of 8 feet above tree canopy in an orchard having 72 trees planted at a distance of 25×25 feet, we can reduce fruit bat damage to a lower level and can give a net economic return of Rs. 13448.0/acre to litchi fruit growers which will increase their farm income and help in conservation of fruit bats.
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